Millions of Dahlias
Decorate Mammoth Floats for Dutch Parade

Here’s a visual treat for all of us who are hungering for summer: the Corso Zundert, an annual Dutch parade featuring 20 spectacular floats, each covered with up to a half a million dahlias. It’s like the Rose Bowl parade on steroids, or LSD!

Started in the 1930s, the parade is an all-volunteer effort by the people of the small town of Zundert – Van Gogh’s birthplace – and a local art school. Each float can be up to 60 feet long and three stories tall, and they’re all decorated almost entirely with dahlias picked from 600,000 plants that are grown locally just for the parade.

But a picture is worth a thousand words, and the real treat is seeing the colorful, wildly imaginative floats themselves. Start at the parade’s homepage – “Welcome at the website of Corso Zundert!” – and be sure to click the center of the photo for an introductory video. There are fascinating pages about the parade’s history and how the floats are constructed, along with many other photos and videos. Don’t miss the video of last year’s top float (first row, second from left) and the reaction of its builders as their victory is announced. No matter how winter-weary your heart is, it will be warmed.